Georgia Governor Says Fani Willis’s Trump Case Is Looking ‘Very Political’

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
February 28, 2024Politics
Georgia Governor Says Fani Willis’s Trump Case Is Looking ‘Very Political’
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp delivers the State of the State address on the House floor of the state Capitol in Atlanta on Jan. 25, 2023. (Alex Slitz/AP Photo)

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the Fulton County district attorney’s case against former President Donald Trump and other co-defendants is looking more political, coming as allegations have rocked the county prosecutor’s office that are threatening to derail the case.

Earlier this month, one of the co-defendants filed a court motion accusing Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade of engaging in a clandestine relationship. There have been multiple hearings in the case so far, and the judge has said that she could face the possibility of disqualification.

“I gotta be careful about what I say here, because I was subpoenaed by Fani, with Willis in the special grand jury,” Mr. Kemp told NewsNation. “But it’s hard to believe that a process that I think many people—including myself—believe is very political, regardless of the merits behind the case, has gotten even more political now because of her actions and those of Mr. Wade and others.”

Mr. Kemp, a Republican, didn’t appear to offer any other details about the case. However, he believes the Fulton County judge will issue the proper ruling.

“I’m very confident Judge McAfee will make a good decision and then we can go from there,” he told the outlet.

A former divorce attorney for Mr. Wade, Terrence Bradley, was called to the witness stand to testify on the Willis–Wade relationship, which Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade confirmed. He denied knowing when their relationship started, going back on previous testimony.

“I do not have knowledge of it starting or when it started,” he said Tuesday.

On Tuesday, an attorney for Trump co-defendant Michael Roman, Ashleigh Merchant, read aloud a text message in which she had asked Mr. Bradley if he thought Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade started dating before Ms. Willis hired Mr. Wade. The lawyer replied, “Absolutely.”

In court papers and in court testimony, Ms. Willis has forcefully pushed back on allegations that their relationship started before Mr. Wade was hired and also denied allegations that she financially benefitted from the arrangement. Defense lawyers have alleged that she took vacations with Mr. Wade while they were in the relationship and that she had him pay for the trips.

That was denied earlier this month by both Mr. Wade and Ms. Willis, who claimed that she used cash to pay him back after he used his credit card. However, both acknowledged that they could not produce any receipts or evidence she used cash.

Another earlier witness, a former friend of Ms. Willis who worked in her office, testified that she saw Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade “hugging” and “kissing” in 2019, or several years before the two said the relationship started. The woman, Robin Yeartie, also said that she owned the condo in which Ms. Willis had lived.

Last week, President Trump’s attorneys submitted an affidavit from a private investigator, Charles Mittelstadt, who produced an analysis of Mr. Wade’s cellphone that showed they exchanged over 10,000 texts and phone calls before he was hired by the office and were sent many months before he was hired. His report also suggested that Mr. Wade may have stayed overnight at her condo several times, while he stated he never stayed the night during his testimony.

In court papers last week, the district attorney’s office pushed back on the report and said it isn’t credible.

Days later, Trump lawyers filed a new motion and argued that Ms. Wills should again testify.

NTD Photo
(Left) Fulton County district attorney Fanni Willis testifies during a hearing into ‘misconduct’ allegations against her at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Feb. 15, 2024. (Right) Fulton County Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade looks on during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Feb. 15, 2024. (Alyssa Pointer/Pool via Getty Images)

“The witnesses in this case—both Wade and Willis—testified that their romantic relationship did not begin until March or April of 2022 and that they had never spent the night together prior to the Spring of 2022,” the lawyers, adding that “the evidence offered by the defense to refute this testimony is admissible” in court.

“Given the testimony of Wade and Willis that they never spent the night together at the Hapeville condominium, the evidence—actual record evidence, not just an opinion or speculation—that proves that while talking on the phone with DA Willis,” it continued, “Wade drove from near his house to a location near her condo (if not exactly to her condo) at midnight, where he then remained for five hours—not once but twice in two months—qualifies as relevant evidence.”

If she were disqualified, Ms. Willis could face a nonpartisan council that supports prosecuting attorneys in Georgia, and they may need to find a new attorney to take over. That successor could either proceed with the charges against President Trump and 14 others or drop the case altogether. Even if a new lawyer went forward with the case, it would very likely not go to trial before November, when the former president is expected to be the Republican nominee for president.

The judge has set a March 1 date for the next hearing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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